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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

If Convicted, Donald Trump Will Be Imprisoned in the “Valachi Suite”

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on August 20, 2023

IMAGE: FCI La Tuna, home of the "Valachi Suite."


If Donald Trump is convicted on any one of his 44 federal felony charges pending against him (and if he loses the 2024 presidential election), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plans to imprison Trump at its low security, La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution, according to confidential sources inside the BOP. The La Tuna prison is located just North of El Paso, Texas.

There is an inmate apartment at La Tuna that once housed famed New York mobster Joseph Valachi, who penned a lengthy document titled, “The Real Thing.” Valachi was the first mobster to paint a clear canvas of life inside the Mafia.

On October 8, 1963, Joseph Valachi provided graphic testimony to a Congressional committee about Mafia's inner workings that surprised many Americans. He confirmed the existence of the five New York Mafia families; he outlined their organizational structure; he exposed the secret ‘blood’ induction ceremony; he explained the effectiveness of the omertà vow; and he identified the leaders of each family, thereby for the first time attaching a name tag to each borgata.

IMAGE: In 1963, Joseph Valachi gave testimony to a Congressional committee about the inner workings of New York's five Mafia families.

Valachi is credited with the popularization of the term La Cosa Nostra.

Joseph Valachi’s manuscript was used as source material for the book and movie named, “The Valachi Papers.”

The “Valachi Suite”

After being held for some time at Washington, D.C., and Milan, Michigan, Joseph Valachi was transferred to a federal prison at La Tuna, Texas. His rooms at the La Tuna prison are known as the “Valachi Suite." In exchange for Valachi’s cooperation with federal authorities, the BOP provided him with the most comfortable treatment and lavish furnishings the Bureau could provide.

Valachi was housed in a two-room, air-cooled suite at La Tuna. His large cell, isolated from the general prison population and built specifically for him, had couches and a kitchenette.

At La Tuna, Valachi led a solitary existence in which he always was alone, except for guards. He once tried to commit suicide by hanging.

Valachi died of natural causes at La Tuna in 1971.

Even though the “Valachi Suite” has been well-maintained by La Tuna prison officials, it has not been used since Valachi’s death.

The “Valachi Suite” is well-suited for Donald Trump’s unique circumstances. It will allow Trump to have the company of his Secret Service detail at all times, even though they will not be armed inside the prison.

If Trump is convicted in his Manhattan and Georgia state criminal cases, he will likely wind up in the “Valachi Suite,” as well. High value state court inmates like crooked police officers, prosecutors, and judges are often housed in low security federal prisons.

As was the case with Joseph Valachi, Donald Trump will lead a very comfortable life in prison, albeit a lonely one.

As a convicted felon, Trump will be subjected to all BOP inmate rules, regulations, and policies on family visitations, medical care, and prohibitions on contraband items like cell phones and food brought into his suite from the outside world. Trump will also wear the standard prison uniform for inmates.

Trump will also have a television with cable channels and a prison-issued computer and printer in his suite.

Finally, Trump's suite will provide him with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, which are scenic and breathtaking.

Trading Places

As a result of Joseph Valachi’s startling and very public revelations about the five New York Mafia families, the nation was called to action. Within several years after Valachi testified before Congress, federal laws were enacted allowing for court-ordered wiretaps and for informants to be entered into a newly formed federal Witness Protection Program.

Another result of Joseph Valachi's testimony was the passage of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which permitted federal authorities to go after syndicate leaders who might not have directly participated in the crimes involved.

Ironically, Donald Trump, a fellow New Yorker, is charged under the state of Georgia’s version of the federal RICO statute that was inspired by Joseph Valachi. As fate would have it, Trump may be the next famous inmate who will be housed in the “Valachi Suite.”

This is what I call trading places.


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